Israeli Brig. Gen. (res.) Oded Tira, former IDF artillery chief, has the unmitigated gall and impudence to urge that Israel attack Iran just before the Congressional mid-term elections when Pres. Obama’s hands will be tied in terms of any punishment he can mete out for the country’s misbehavior. Here’s a little taste of what the Israeli Curtis LeMay proposes:
The clear conclusion is that we must attack. The best timing would be in October before the U.S. Congressional elections. The punishment that can be meted out to Israel on the eve of elections will be limited, if at all. After November, it appears we will get, or so I hope, a Republican majority which will repay us handsomely for the attack and its aftermath.
I only wonder whether Haaretz has the guts to translate this garbage for its English edition. This is not just incitement for war, it is egregious interference in U.S. political affairs. Apparently, Tira and his IDF buddies have been sucking on the U.S. teat for so long they think they’re Americans with a right to topple our government at will.
The folks at Aipac might want to tamp down this sort of lunacy lest it enter into U.S. electoral politics and serve as a backlash that could put Jewish Republicans on the defensive. Lest you say that Tira is a loose cannon, he is a loose cannon who was head of the Israeli Manufacturer’s Association and is an influential figure in business and military circles.
Besides this particular bit of nuttiness, last April Tira wrote in Haaretz that Israel should not only attack Syria due to the SCUD missiles it supposedly supplied to Hezbollah, but that Israel should topple the Assad regime. In other words he advocated another 1982 Lebanon style invasion and usurpation of Syrian sovereignty.
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To an artillery officer every nation that blocks Israel’s interests looks like a target to be bombed into submission. Whether or not you argue that Tira is a warmonger, you can’t argue that his views aren’t common among the Israeli generalariat. Even more than in the U.S. army, Israel’s current crop of generals welcomes war and the opportunity to redeem themselves for their past failures, and the ability to test out new weapons systems on the Muslim enemy. To warriors like this, an Israeli holy war against Islam undoubtedly looks almost attractive.
What I don’t understand and never have understood is how an Israeli general can argue that Israel would effectively be able to fight on so many military fronts simultaneously when during the Gaza and Lebanon wars it didn’t fight effectively on a single front. Has he given the least thought how Israel would assault Iran and invade Syria, all the while withstanding the tumultuous reception such news would receive among Palestinians, in Lebanon, etc. These guys are generals. They’re supposed to have brains and use them. Where is the intelligence?
Reader Ariel Shatil draws our attention to other aspects of Tira’s hard-right oddness:
He retired from the military service as Chief of Artillery before I was drafted but lets just say that opinion of him voiced by reservists that I met wasn’t very positive. Two things worth mentioning – Early in the decade he was the Manufacturers Association President and as such was rabid anti-worker, which went well with his general right wing theories.
He faded away mid decade but resurfaced after operation “Cast Lead” when he appeared on national news claiming that the white phosphorus in the photos from Gaza were actually phosphorus tipped pieces of felt that were generally harmless. As someone who served in Artillery for over twenty years (regular and reserves) as a Master Sergeant and has fired thousands of shells, I can tell you that there he described a non-existent munition.